"HE IS just like the pictures of him in the papers - outgoing,
friendly, and very humble," Bishop John Flack, currently Assistant
Bishop in Peterborough diocese and formerly
director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, said. He was speaking of
the meeting that he and the Bishop of Brixworth, the Rt Revd John
Holbrook, had had with the Pope during their three-day visit to
Their purpose was to visit the Anglican Centre in the Palazzo
Doria Pamphilj, where Bishop Flack had had an apartment; but they
also attended an audience with the Pope in St Peter's Square.
There must have been about 80,000 people there, Bishop Holbrook
says. "As we were led through the centre of the crowd by the Swiss
Guards, we were constantly being asked to smile for photos,
although I suspect few, if any, of the photographers had any idea
who we were."
They had brought greetings from the Archbishop of Canterbury and
the Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, to Pope
Francis, and spoke to him in Italian and English.
While in Rome, Bishop Holbrook also made a special pilgrimage to
the Colosseum, where so many early Christians had died for their
faith. It was particularly poignant, he said, remembering how
dangerous it was to be a Christian today in the Middle East, North
Korea, and parts of Africa.